Arbitrage Betting Guide

Arbitrage Betting - Sports Betting Guides at Point Spreads

Arbitrage Strategy Betting Guide


In sports betting, bookmakers have their own tools to ensure that bettors won’t be able to bet both sides of the same wager and still walk away with a profit. But there is one way to actually game the system and secure sure bets: arbitrage betting.


But what exactly is arbitrage betting, and how can you use it effectively? While it isn’t applicable to every single bet, you will soon find that there are plenty of arbitrage opportunities available.


Let’s learn more about sports betting arbitrage, including how to find arbitrage opportunities and how to calculate arbitrage bets.



Sports Betting Arbitrage Explained

It goes without saying, but bookmakers don’t like losing money. Operators try their best to protect themselves against all possible outcomes, trying to limit the profit margin for bettors. Sportsbooks rarely disagree on the favorite and the underdog. As a result, bettors will rarely find a huge discrepancy in the odds between different bookmakers.


That being said, there are some small variations in the odds from one sportsbook to another. And this is exactly where punters can find arbitrage opportunities.


What exactly is arbitrage betting? This practice consists of placing concurrent bets in different sportsbooks. Does it sound counterintuitive? The secret to arbitrage betting is that, by covering the two possible outcomes, you can secure a sure bet and therefore a guaranteed profit.


Of course, arbitrage betting opportunities won’t be available for every single bet. As a general rule, arbitrage betting is restricted to games with relatively close lines. Additionally, you are better off sticking to games with only two possible outcomes (side A winning or side B winning), as it keeps things simple. While there are arbitrage betting opportunities available for three-way markets, these are a bit more complicated, so let’s stick to two-way sure bets for now.



How to calculate an arbitrage bet?

First Step

We need to calculate the odds for each outcome of a bet: P = 1odds, in which P stands for the probability of an outcome.


In order to calculate it, you need to convert the odds to decimals using a betting calculator. Let’s use an example: sportsbook X has team A at -125. By converting -125 to decimals, we get 1.8.


Example Sportsbook X
Team A
Formula: P = 1odds0.556 (55.6%)

Using the probability formula above, sportsbook X gives team A a 0.556 (55.6%) chance of winning the game. Sportsbook Y has team B at +130, which is 2.3 in decimals. Team B, according to this second bookmaker, has a 0.435 (43.5%) chance of winning.


Example Sportsbook Y
Team B
Formula: P = 1odds0.435 (43.5%)


Second Step

The next step is to identify whether or not there is an arbitrage opportunity here. For that, we need to use the arbitrage formula: A = Odds Team A + Odds Team B.


Formula: A = Odds Team A + Odds Team B.


If A>1:There is no arbitrage opportunity. It means that, if you bet on both outcomes, you will still come out on the losing side.

Betting $100 on -110 and -110 means that you are investing $200 for a potential $191 payout.

If A=1: Then there is no arbitrage opportunity either.

Betting $100 on +100 and +100 odds will win you $200 one way or the other. You are investing $200 for a $200 return, meaning that the bet is ineffective, as you are always going to break even.

If A<1: We have an arbitrage opportunity. The bookmakers disagree on the outcome of the match, creating an opening for a sure bet. After adding the two probabilities, we still fall short of 100%, which means that the operators have failed to cover for the two possible outcomes of this game.

In this case, we get A = 0.556 + 0.435 = 0.991. Since A<1, there is an arbitrage opportunity.



    Third Step

    Now, we move on to step 3 – how much you need to wager on each outcome in order to make a profit: S = Total Bet x OddsP, in which S stands for stake (how much you need to bet on each outcome) and total bet indicates how much you want to wager.

    S = Total Bet x OddsP


    We are going to keep it simple and wager $100 in total. Using this formula for team A, we get S = 55.6/0.991 = 56.105. We are wagering $56.10 on team A.


    Now, let’s do the same for team B: S = 43.5/0.991 = 43.895. We need to wager $43.90 on team B in order to secure a sure bet.


    In this case, if team A wins, we get $100.98 back, having bet $56.10. If team B wins, we win $100.98 as well, having bet $43.90. No matter the outcome, we are going to win the exact same amount, effectively giving us a $100.98 return for a $100 investment – a $0.98 profit.



    Arbitrage Betting Tips


    Following that long explanation, it’s time to make things easier with helpful sports betting arbitrage tips.



    There are many different ways to find arbitrage betting opportunities.

    Some bettors do it by themselves, looking at multiple sportsbooks and then calculating whether or not there is an opportunity for arbitrage. But many bettors rely on arbitrage betting software. Finding yourself a good program to automatically spot arbitrage betting opportunities can save a lot of time and increase your efficiency.

    The same also applies to calculating the stakes.

    Using an arbitrage calculator will save time and make the whole process much easier.

    Remember to check the sportsbook's terms and conditions beforehand. beforehand.

    Not all operators accept arbitrage betting, and there are ways to find out when a bettor is arbing. There are bookmakers that accept arbing without problems, but more than a few consider it to be a breach of T&Cs.


    Also learn about Point Spreads Betting Tips and Tricks



    Arbitrage Betting Examples


    + In a tennis match, sportsbook A offers a -105 moneyline on player X. Sportsbook B offers a +110 moneyline on player Y. Since A = 0.989, we have an arb opportunity here. By placing a $51.85 bet on player X and a $48.15 bet on player Y, we secure a $101.11 win for a $1.11 profit.


    Tennis Matchup
    A-105 = 0.989$51.85


    + Sportsbook C offers a -145 moneyline on team X, while sportsbook D offers a +150 moneyline on team Y. In this example, A = 0.992, meaning there is an opportunity for arbitrage. With a $59.67 wager on team X and $40.33 on team Y, we are guaranteed to win back $100.84 one way or the other, giving us $0.84 in profit.


    C-145 = 0.992$59.67


    + Sportsbook E has team 1 at -115, while sportsbook F has team 2 at +120. The arbitrage betting formula tells us that A = 0.99. We are wagering $54.05 on team 1, and $45.95 on team 2. No matter who wins, we are still getting a $101.08 payout for a $1.08 profit.


    E-115 = 0.99$54.05



    Pros vs Cons of Arbitrage Betting


    🔷 Pros:

    🔹 Arbitrage betting means that you have a guaranteed payout no matter the outcome of a match. Since sports betting, from the punter’s perspective, is all about finding upside, arbitrage betting is one of the easiest ways to do so.


    🔹 Whether you rely on an arbitrage betting software or not, you will be able to find plenty of arbitrage opportunities. It’s all about knowing where to look for them.


    🔶 Cons:

    🔸 As we mentioned before, some operators do not accept arbitrage betting. If the bookmaker finds out that you are arbing and considers it a breach of the T&Cs, then it can suspend or outright cancel your account.


    🔸 Since you will be comparing different bookmakers, it means that you will also need multiple sports betting accounts. In other words, you will have to fund each of them, making arbitrage a bit more expensive. As you saw in the examples, the profit margin is usually very slim, and you will need some patience to build up a sizable bankroll.


    Learn How much to Bet With Our Guides




    Arbitrage betting is probably one of the safest ways to guarantee a profit in sports betting. It does come with a risk, namely having your account either suspended or canceled. If you decide to try it, then stick to operators that don’t mind arbing. Arbitrage betting requires time and effort, but can be very profitable over the long run.




    FAQs: Arbitrage Betting Guide

    1. What is arbitrage betting?

    Arbitrage betting is wagering on both sides of a match at different sportsbooks to secure a guaranteed return. If the odds allow an arbitrage betting opportunity, then you are guaranteed to profit no matter who wins.

    2. How to use arbitrage betting?

    You can find an arbitrage opportunity either by manually looking for them or by using an arbitrage betting software. In order to use arbitrage betting, you need to find the right odds at two different bookmakers for a sure bet.

    3. Is arbitrage betting legal?

    Yes, arbitraging betting is perfectly legal as long as you do it at licensed and legal operators. However, keep in mind that not all sportsbooks allow arbitrage betting. In some cases, bookmakers might consider it a breach of terms and conditions, leading to your account getting blocked or banned.

    4. How to calculate arbitrage bet?

    You can calculate an arbitrage bet using an arbitrage betting calculator, which makes the whole process much easier and quicker.

    5. Is arbitrage betting profitable?

    Yes, arbitrage betting is profitable, since you have a guaranteed return. But the profit margin is also relatively small, unless you happen to find exceptionally good odds. Alternatively, you can raise your stakes to secure a bigger return.




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